Home inventory catalog. How it should be created?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Nickk, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Nickk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    #1
    I'd like to be able to find any possession item at home without looking for it in miscellaneous boxes I keep them in.

    I also would like to move separate items of my stuff from one box to another and keep being able to spot them after they've been moved.

    The solution that seems to me optimal is to create a folder for every box and to create subfolders for each plastic container within the box. The subfolders should consist of spreadsheets. A separate spreadsheet for each item. That is, I should create a separate spreadsheet for my summer jacket I'm unable to find right now. As well as a separate spreadsheet for my distant relative's spare apartment door key he gave me to keep in case he looses his own one.

    If you have another solution, can you offer one? It should be free. It's OK if it's MySQL, for example.
     
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #2
    I think a database file would help with this. I don't use them too much, but I suspect you'd be able to group some items together and have other isolated entries.
     
  3. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #3
    How much data do you expect to have for a single item, such as a summer jacket or a spare door key, that it needs an entire spreadsheet for just that one thing?

    I understand why there'd be one file per item, but I don't see a reason for it to be a spreadsheet file

    Using folders to represent containers is a simple yet useful way to structure things, especially if you expect to move things around a lot, and want the ease of use. "Ease of use" here means you don't need a separate app in order to move or find things in the catalog. Finder can do the moves, and Spotlight can do the searches.

    The simplest file format is plain text. It's easy to edit (TextEdit.app, or many other text editors) or view (QuickLook), and it's small. It's also easy to combine, copy, paste, etc. between different files. Even if the descriptive data for a single item consists of a dozen or so keywords, such as color, size, year purchased, etc. for a jacket, you can easily type all that into a plain text file, in a simple format like one item per line.

    Finally, if you ever want to convert the whole thing to a different format, such as putting it into a SQLite database, plain text is probably the simplest format to deal with.
     
  4. Nickk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    #4
    Right you are. The only detail per item is going to be its number I'm going to assign.
    Strange I've never come across a home catalog solution like yours. Only spreadsheets.
     
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    betwixt
    #5
    I write software for a living. I've been building simple structured data like this for a long time.

    It's a generalized approach, not just a "home catalog" solution. I've used it for things like organizing audio files on the microSD card of an embedded controller. The main files were playable AIFF files, but during development and testing there were "companion" plain-text files right next to them that held additional data. The controller itself was much too small and simple to host a "real database".

    In many ways it's too simple to be used in a commercial product, or is too limited when compared to a real database.
     
  6. mj_ macrumors 6502

    mj_

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    There's an application called "Home Inventory" on the Mac App Store. It usually sells for $39.99 but I recently got it on sale on BundleHunt for $4. It does exactly what you're looking for and might well worth be the money because it offers much more, like search, photos, catogeries, an iPhone companion app, etc.
     

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5 April 22, 2019